Alex Brasky | @BataviasBestHS
Friday, September 14, 2018 | BataviasBest.org
Heading into Thursday night, following two-straight losses to begin the year, Pembroke seemed like a team destined for the doldrums of their division, and without a hope of making a push towards the postseason. Trailing Mynderse 34-28 with under 1:00 to play in the fourth quarter last night, those beliefs seemed to be confirmed as the Dragons appeared to be on their way to an 0-3 start.
Then everything changed.
After a long kick return set them up inside enemy territory, the Dragons mounted an efficient, timely drive and put themselves in position for the game-winning score.
Inside the five-yard line with about :20 to play, Pembroke gave the ball to their power back Colby Cerasani, who had already scored two touchdowns, and sent him up the middle where he bullied his way across the goal line for the game-tying score with :16 to play. A few moments later a successful PAT attempt off the foot of Dragons’ kicker Tyler Keller proved to be the game-winner.
Following the big touchdown and the big kick, Pembroke’s defense held Mynderse throughout the final :16 and preserved the victory.
“We struggled during the first two games of the season, and we know those are games we let slip away,” said Pembroke head coach Al Miano after the big win. “But these guys raised their level of play tonight and did a great job.”
Offensively for Pembroke it wasn’t just Cerasani who recorded a big day (9 carries, 81 rushing yards, 3 rushing TDs), as starting RB Nick Clark was the leading-rusher for the Dragons in the win and finished with 131 rushing yards on 26 carries – including a big run which set up the game-tying touchdown.
Pembroke QB David Colby also had plenty of success, especially when throwing to his favorite target WR Soren Calderon, as the duo hooked up for two touchdowns which was part of Colby’s efficient night under center. Colby finished the night 8/10 passing for 180 yards and the 2 scores. Calderon finished with 3 catches, 94 receiving yards, and his 2 TDs – one of which was a 70-yarder.
Dragons’ WR Trevor Vaugh also had three catches for 72 yards in the win.
“It makes it more fun to come out (during practice) and work even harder to get the win next week,” said Colby about what this win means to his team.
Despite the 34 points allowed by the Dragons’ defense there were a few individuals who put forth great effort, and it showed up on the stat sheet.
Pembroke LB Trent Smith finished with 9 total tackles on Thursday, 2 of which came for a loss. In addition to his performance on offense, Vaughn also performed well at DB where he recorded 4 tackles and an interception, while FS Jordan Brown also added a pick of his own. The interceptions from Vaughn and Brown allowed Pembroke to win the turnover battle 2-1.
For Mynderse in the loss, RB Tyrent Youngs was about all they had offensively but that was enough to push Pembroke to the brink, as Youngs finished the game with 30 carries for 192 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns. An incredible performance from a hard-nosed player.
“We need to go look at the film as I’m sure there are areas we need to get better at,” said Miano to wrap-up his comments after the win. “We need to get better every day, every practice, every game. That’s our goal.”
Next up for the Dragons will be their Week 4 matchup with Perry/Mt. Morris, which is a team currently sitting at 1-1 heading into Week 3 (vs York/Pavilion). I believe that will be another winnable game for Pembroke – especially if they can play like they did tonight.